|In what appears to have been a coordinated attack on Twitter, a number of Twitter accounts simultaneously sent out the same message alleging that Kamala Harris is not an American citizen and not eligible to run for President. Other trolls picked it up and started embellishing on it, and Don Jr retweeted it on his account before later deleting it.|
Jacob Wohl, a notorious Internet troll and conspiracy nut, whose last crash and burn was a failed attempt to smear Robert Mueller for sexual harassment (the reporters at the "press conference" practically laughed him and his partner out of the room), fleshed out the conspiracy by adding new requirements for Presidential eligibility that reminds me of Orly Taitz and the Obama birther conspiracy that Trump picked up and ran with.
Orly Taitz is a lawyer who was a moving force behind the birther conspiracy who made wild, unsubstantiated claims about Obama. If I recall correctly, she's the one who came up with the eligibility requirements for the parents, which simply don't exist. Taitz filed multiple lawsuits challenging Obama's legitimacy as President, and they were ALL dismissed. At one point, she was sanctioned by a judge for frivolous lawsuits and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. If you want to see what a real conspiracy theory nut job looks like, read her Wikipedia page:
According to Wohl, Harris is ineligible because her parents were immigrants and hadn't lived here for 5 years before she was born, and she was raised in Canada, so she's not a natural born citizen.
There are only three requirements listed in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution regarding Presidential eligibility:
- Natural born citizen,
- at least 35 years old,
- a resident of the US for 14 years
That's it - there's no residency requirement for the immigrant parents, and there's no requirement that you have to have been raised in the States.
Harris was born in Oakland, CA, to immigrant parents. According to the definition in effect since 1790 and borrowed from the English Common Law concept of "jus soli" - the right of the soil - that makes her a natural born citizen. Anyone born on American soil is considered a natural born citizen. Period. Full Stop. That concept of birthright is affirmed by the 14th Amendment.
That's the "birthright citizenship" that Steven Miller told Trump he should do away with, but it's just another thing the courts won't allow him to change by Executive Order - Presidents don't have the authority to amend the Constitution by fiat.
Harris was raised for a time in Canada but has lived here in the US at least since returning to go to college in CA in the '80s. She has been working in CA government since at least the '90s and is 54 years old.
She checks all the boxes, so she's eligible to run.
What's most disturbing was that this was a coordinated attack, and we don't know who is behind it. It's a sign of another disinformation campaign meant to influence the 2020 election. I am NOT laying the blame for it at the feet of the right-wing in general, but there are some radical right-wingers such as Jacob Wohl who have to be called out and exposed. I also have no doubt that there will be similar incidents from the radical left-wing. From what the Mueller report tells us, the Russians played both sides of disinformation during the 2016 campaign
Whether you're conservative, liberal, or somewhere in the middle, you have to be on the lookout for this kind of nonsense in the runup to 2020. Critical thinking is going to be so important. The radicals on both sides will create this stuff and spread it, but we - as those who not on the fringes - will have to be the adults in the room and call out and challenge the BS when we see it.